By Margaret Adams
One week ago six people (three children aged nine, and three adults) were killed by a person using a military-style AR-15 rifle. On Monday, April 3, 2023, students in Nashville, Tennessee walked out of their classrooms and marched along with parents, teachers, and other supporters to protest gun violence. Students at other schools in other places also walked out of classrooms or held “walk-ins” where they expressed sorrow, anger, and disbelief. Their call was for state lawmakers to enact gun reform. Their call is for gun control now.
AR-15 is an umbrella term for a range of semi-automatic rifles made by a host of gun manufacturers. “AR” comes from the original gun manufacturer ArmaLite, Inc. The letters stand for ArmaLite Rifle and not “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle.” For a child shot with one of these rifles, according to Dr. Bindi Naik-Mathuria a pediatric trauma surgeon, injuries are almost unsurvivable and the damages are significant. Children who experience these shootings will always remember the horror.
There were 51 school shootings in 2022, according to www.edweek.org. Last year, Governor Mike Dewine signed a law making it legal to carry a concealed weapon. His solution for protecting children in schools is to make it easier for teachers to carry guns in schools and to decrease the amount of training required before possessing a firearm.
Maybe our children, our students, our parents, and other supporters need to march on the state legislatures and press for more realistic gun measures. It’s time we send children to school without the fear of gun violence.
Sources: USA Today 4/2/23 “Today in History”
NPR.org 2/28/18 “A Brief History of AR-15”